Student Health Matters (ISHA) - Interview with the developer of a fantastic app

Did you have any prior development or coding experience?

Yes, before we developed the Student Health Matters app for the Irish Student Health Association (ISHA), we created the 'Student Health App' for the UK and the 'distrACT' app, which supports people who self-harm and may be suicidal. We're proud to say that the distrACT app won the prestigious 2019 British Medical Association 'Patient Information Award' for wellbeing.

What was the most challenging aspect of developing mobile app?

The Student Health Matters app was developed at short notice and we only had a couple of weeks to build it from start to finish. A particular challenge was that it was the holiday season and team members lived in different countries. Fortunately, remote working proved fairly easy as we had a highly committed team and working broadband connections!

The interview was answered by Dr. Knut with some valuable additions by Dr. Theresa. Knut is a practising GP in Bristol who specialises in creating health and wellbeing apps for students. As author of 'Diagnosing Your Health Symptoms for Dummies', he now uses mobile technology to make relevant, reliable and reassuring health information easily available. He developed the Student Health Matters app on behalf of the Irish Student Health Association. Together with universities, students, and topic experts, he also created the Student Health App(listed on the NHS Apps Library) and the International Student Health App UK (in collaboration with UWE Bristol and the University of Lincoln). His company 'Expert Self Care' won the 2019 British Medical Association 'Patient Information Award' for wellbeing for the distrACT app, which supports young people who self-harm and may feel suicidal. Dr. Theresa Lowry Lehnen (PhD), the project lead and lead author-Student Health Matters app (ISHA), is a Clinical Nurse Specialist at Institute of Technology Carlow, Ireland.

Name a few of your favorite apps and reason you love them.

We love all the apps in the mental health section of the NHS Apps Library, especially the MeeToo app, which provides a safe and secure forum for teenagers who would like to discuss any issues or problems affecting their lives. The app is free, easy-to-use, and moderated.

How long have you been working on this app?

Theresa Lowry-Lehnenthe Nurse atInstitute of Technology Carlowhad already written the content for a student health eBook for the Irish Student Health Association, and creating the app from there took us two weeks – working long hours. The development phase for this app was relatively short because we had a ready-made framework which we used as a foundation.

What need of the user did you have in mind when developing this app?

The main aim of the app is to help students in Ireland find reliable, evidence-based health information in one place, so they don’t have to google their symptoms. The app also signposts useful further sources of information and support.

In what way do you think your app is better than similar apps on the market? Please describe in detail what innovation you think you bring and what you are proud of in your app.

The Student Health Matters app is the first of its kind resource for 3rd level college students in Ireland. It's really easy to use and works offline – a bonus in areas where there's a poor internet connection, or during a crisis. We're proud to have co-created the app in partnership with students. The App is available for iPhone and Android and is free to download from the App Store and Google Play. What's innovative about the app is that it makes a lot of content very easily accessible to students and has additional information on how to stay healthy during their college years. The content which is based on Irish healthcare information and services is specific to the student’s needs.

What are your future plans and expected features of the coming new versions of this app?

We will keep updating the app and may add new content as needed and suggested by students. We offer universities and colleges the opportunity to have their own customized page on the app, and we hope for more organizations to make use of this feature, for their own benefit and that of their students.

Assuming new users of your app are reading this page. What do you want to ask them to do (contact you about X, Share the app, etc.)?

We simply want people to use the app, tell their friends about it if they like it, and to give us feedback if there's anything we could do to make the app better.

Student Health Matters (ISHA)

About App:

The 'Student Health Matters' app enables Irish students to access safe, evidence-based, and reliable health information instantly at the touch of a button – all in one place.

Rather than googling their health questions, which can be unreliable and confusing, students can now access trusted health information and links to many useful websites in seconds.

The content, which is regularly updated, is based on Irish healthcare information and services. It has been specially created by a team of health professionals at the Irish Student Health Association.

Open the app and find:
• Information and advice on healthy lifestyles
• Health A-Z
• General health advice on how to spot and manage common physical and mental health problems
• Key information on sexual health, contraception, my options and consent
• How to look after your health, respond to emergencies and self-care for minor illnesses
• Useful info and web links on where to get help, advice, and support
• Local support – information, contact details and links to the specific health and medical services available at your College (if listed)

Categories: Health & Fitness

Date: May 28, 2020

Developer: Expert Self Care

About developer: The interview was answered by Dr. Knut with some valuable additions by Dr. T ... Read more

Website: https://www.expertselfcare.com/

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